[TOS-Con is now LevelUp.]
Sharpen your mind. Fuel your soul.
Excel in life. Fight for liberty.
If these are your goals, this conference is for you.
Freedom and flourishing are not givens. They are consequences of certain ideas that were developed over thousands of years and are still being refined today.
TOS-Con is for people who want to understand and act on these ideas, to thrive in their ventures and relationships, and to support liberty on solid ground.
We invite speakers from various disciplines and with differing views to create an intellectually rich environment in which ideas are discussed and challenged on the basis of evidence and reason.
Join us June 22–25 for an intense, life-enriching examination of the principles and practices on which freedom and flourishing depend.
Scholarships for Students & Young Adults
Scholarship applications are closed for TOS-Con 2022.
Students and young adults aged 18 to 29 are eligible to apply for an Active-Mind Scholarship to attend TOS-Con.
Speakers & Instructors
Greg McKeown is the author of Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less and Effortless: Make It Easier to Do What Matters Most—both New York Times bestsellers. He is the founder and CEO of McKeown, Inc., a leadership and strategy design agency based in California, whose clients include Adobe, Apple, Google, Facebook, Pixar, Salesforce.com, Symantec, Twitter, VMware and Yahoo!. Greg earned his MBA at Stanford University and serves as a Young Global Leader for the World Economic Forum.
Ayaan Hirsi Ali
Ayaan Hirsi Ali is a research fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University and founder of the AHA Foundation. Prior to joining Hoover, she was a fellow at the Belfer Center’s Future of Diplomacy Project at Harvard University, and a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. Ayaan is the author of several books, including Infidel (2007), Nomad: From Islam to America, a Personal Journey through the Clash of Civilizations (2010), Heretic: Why Islam Needs a Reformation Now (2015), and Prey: Immigration, Islam, and the Erosion of Women’s Rights (2021).
Dr. Peter Boghossian is an American philosopher and pedagogist whose academic focus includes atheism, critical thinking, scientific skepticism, and the Socratic method. He is the author of A Manual for Creating Atheists and (with James Lindsay) How to Have Impossible Conversations: A Very Practical Guide. Peter recently resigned from Portland State University in principled opposition to the school’s descent into illiberalism. He is now a founding faculty fellow at the newly formed University of Austin.
Yeonmi Park is the author of In Order to Live: A North Korean Girl’s Journey to Freedom, a human rights activist, and a renowned TED speaker on the importance of freedom to human life. Born in North Korea under communist dictatorship, Yeonmi and her family escaped and eventually made their way to America. Yeonmi is now a leading voice of oppressed people around the world.
Adam Carolla is a comedian, actor, radio personality, television host, and New York Times bestselling author. He began his career on the nationally syndicated radio program Loveline with Dr. Drew Pinsky. With partners Daniel Kellison and Jimmy Kimmel, he created and starred in The Man Show and Crank Yankers. Adam also co-wrote, produced, and starred in two independent feature length films, The Hammer and Road Hard. He currently hosts The Adam Carolla Show.
Raised in a far-left activist household, Amala Ekpunobi began a career in leftist organizing until unanswered questions led her to an ideological transformation. Upon passionately speaking out as a conservative, she became a viral social content-creator and amassed millions of views. She now works as a personality at PragerU, where she hosts Will and Amala LIVE and creates daily content for social media.
Zilvinas Silenas is president of the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE). Prior to joining FEE, he was president of the Lithuanian Free Market Institute (LFMI), where he brought the Institute’s free-market reform message to the forefront of Lithuanian public discourse and, in conjunction with LFMI, won two Templeton Freedom Awards. Zilvinas holds degrees in economics from Wesleyan University and the ISM University of Management and Economics.
Wolf von Laer
Dr. Wolf von Laer is the CEO of Students for Liberty (SFL), a nonprofit that trains and supports pro-liberty students around the world. He received his Ph.D. in political economy at King’s College London. Wolf has published several book chapters and a book about central banking, and has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, Foreign Policy, Forbes, Huffington Post, Bitcoin Magazine, Coindesk, and CSPAN.
Timothy Sandefur holds the Duncan Chair in Constitutional Government at the Goldwater Institute, and is the author of several books including The Right to Earn a Living: Economic Freedom and the Law (2010), The Conscience of The Constitution (2014), The Permission Society (2016), Frederick Douglass: Self-Made Man (2018), and The Ascent of Jacob Bronowski: The Life and Ideas of a Popular Science Icon (2019). His forthcoming book is on Isabel Paterson’s, Rose Wilder Lane’s, and Ayn Rand’s efforts to defend liberty in an age of tyranny.
Jon Hersey is a fellow at Objective Standard Institute, where he teaches courses including “How to Write Powerfully in Defense of Liberty” and hosts the podcast “Philosophy for Flourishing.” He is also managing editor of The Objective Standard. His work focuses on intellectual history, specifically, the ideas on which freedom and flourishing depend.
Jon Wos is an artist who works primarily with oil paint and stained glass. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 2005 and has exhibited his artwork throughout North America, including the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, in Washington D.C.; the Chicago Cultural Center; and the Joseph D. Carrier Gallery, in Toronto. Jon’s work is held in several public collections, including those at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, Ripon College, MacMurray College.
Craig Biddle is cofounder and director of education and programs at Objective Standard Institute, cofounder and editor in chief of The Objective Standard, and executive director of Prometheus Foundation. His books include Loving Life: The Morality of Self-Interest and the Facts that Support It; Rational Egoism: The Morality for Human Flourishing; and the forthcoming Forbidden Facts: Moral Truths Your Parents, Preachers, and Teachers Don’t Want You to Know.
Jason Crawford is the founder of The Roots of Progress, where he writes and speaks about the history of technology and the philosophy of progress. He is also the creator of Progress Studies for Young Scholars, an online learning program for high schoolers; and a part-time adviser and technical consultant to Our World in Data, an Oxford-based non-profit for research and data on global development.
Eric Daniels holds a Ph.D. in American history from the University of Wisconsin at Madison. He has taught history, political science, and economics at Duke University, Georgetown University, and is currently the Assistant Director of the Clemson Institute for the Study of Capitalism at Clemson University. In addition to his contributions to The Objective Standard, he has published on the history of monopolies, American individualism, and economic freedom.
Kira Withrow is a lifelong student and teacher of dance, history, and mathematics. Since first discovering Swing dance in 2004, she has taught and competed in many styles of dance, including Salsa, Bachata, Kizomba, Lindy Hop, Charleston, Blues, and Solo Jazz. She is currently writing a book on American dance culture and the power of dance in celebrating life.
Main Stage Talks
Free Will and Flourishing
Is free will real or an illusion? If it is real, how do we know it, and what does it mean for our lives? If it’s an illusion, how do we know this, and what are the implications? In this talk, Craig Biddle will present steelman arguments both against and for free will, including those from Sam Harris, Daniel Dennett, and Ayn Rand. Craig will argue that free will, properly conceived, is real, verifiable, and affirmed by any attempt to deny it—and that understanding and embracing free will is essential to living fully and achieving the greatest happiness possible.
Essentialism: Why and How to Do a Few Things Superbly
Trivial pursuits can consume our time and energy at the expense of vital engagements that could make our lives far more meaningful and fulfilling. In this talk, Greg McKeown will discuss his philosophy of Essentialism and how it can help you choose and do what matters most. As he writes in Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less:
There are three deeply entrenched assumptions we must conquer to live the way of the Essentialist: “I have to,” “It’s all important,” and “I can do both.” Like mythological sirens, these assumptions are as dangerous as they are seductive. They draw us in and drown us in shallow waters.
To embrace the essence of Essentialism requires we replace these false assumptions with three core truths: “I choose to,” “Only a few things really matter,” and “I can do anything but not everything.” These simple truths awaken us from our nonessential stupor. They free us to pursue what really matters.
Come learn to “distinguish the vital few from the trivial many,” and create the life you desire and deserve.
Saving Capitalism From Its Defenders
To the extent that capitalism has existed, it has enabled human beings to achieve unparalleled productivity and prosperity. For this reason, many advocates of capitalism see it as practical. Few, however, see it as moral. Some of its defenders give capitalism only “two cheers” on the grounds that it enables businessmen selfishly to amass enormous wealth and results in economic inequality. Others try to justify capitalism on altruistic grounds, arguing that it’s good because it requires greedy businessmen to serve their fellow men. Still others argue that free markets are best because, due to man’s innate depravity, no one is good enough to rule others.
Dr. Eric Daniels will address such claims and make the case that capitalism is not only practical, but also the only moral social system—and the only one fit for morally good people.
How to Engage in Difficult Conversations
Open, honest conversation is essential to understanding our world, advancing knowledge, and correcting errors. But conversations about controversial subjects—such as religion, immigration, abortion, climate change, gender identity, and gun control—can be difficult, as people’s preconceptions come into play and defense mechanisms flare up. In this keynote, drawing from decades of research, teaching, and publishing on the subject, Dr. Peter Boghossian will present key principles for engaging constructively in seemingly impossible conversations.
Great art is fuel for the soul. It can even be medicine for the soul. Few know this as well as artist Jon Wos. Born with a genetic bone disorder known as Osteogenesis Imperfecta, Jon began drawing and painting as a child. His art often reflected the futility he felt due to his condition. In time, he discovered Ayn Rand’s philosophy, Objectivism, along with Romantic art, and he soon realized their power to transform his life. In this presentation, Jon will share his story, show his artwork, and discuss the philosophic and aesthetic principles that helped him create a successful career and beautiful life from an inauspicious start.
“Wokeism” and How to Counter It
Ayaan Hirsi Ali
In recent years, Western culture increasingly has been infected with “wokeism,” an ideological stew of identity politics, groupthink, “social justice,” Critical Race Theory, and the practice of “canceling” those who fail to toe the woke line. In this keynote, Ayaan Hirsi Ali will discuss the nature of wokeism, where it came from, why so many young people have adopted it, and the core principles necessary to reverse this trend and advance civilized society: individualism, personal agency, critical thinking, and freedom of speech.
If I Can, You Can (a Comedy of Truths for Thriving)
In his teens and twenties, Adam Carolla cleaned carpets, dug ditches, went for long stretches without any work, and lived in poverty. He did not taste success until he was 31 years old. Adam will tell the story of how—relatively late in life and starting at zero—he created a career he loves in radio, comedy, podcasting, and writing, making buckets of money in the process. You’ll laugh. You’ll cry. And you’ll see why: If he can do it, you can too.
Music, Mind, and Morality
“Dun dun dun da! Dun dun dun da!”
Those aren’t even words, yet for anyone familiar with Beethoven’s Fifth, these rhythms immediately evoke the emotional atmosphere of its booming onset. How do vibrations in air become a source of courage, a feeling of foreboding, a skin-tingling sense of rapture, or a yawn-inducing treadmill of notes? Why does the very same piece of music spark the first in one listener and the last in another? And what, if anything, does a person’s musical taste say about his mental habits or moral character?
Come cultivate your musical mind, investigate what attracts people to certain sonic tapestries, and learn how to find more of—and get more out of—the music you love.
How Isabel Paterson Helped Ayn Rand Find Atlantis
The myth of Atlantis plays an important role in Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged. As one character says, it represents the place where “only the spirits of heroes could enter, and they reached it without dying, because they carried the secret of life within them.” In a sense, there is such a place: America—in terms of its founding principles, its essence. The woman who helped Rand to see Atlantis as the symbol for this essence was her friend and mentor Isabel Paterson—pioneering journalist and philosopher, and author of The God of the Machine. In this talk, Timothy Sandefur will explore the friendship between these two pathbreaking thinkers, who together offered future generations a pathway to Atlantis.
Toward a New Philosophy of Progress
Enlightenment thinkers were tremendously optimistic about the potential for human progress—not only in science and technology, but also in morality and society. This optimism lasted through the 19th century, but in the 20th century, after the World Wars, it gave way to fear, skepticism, and distrust. Now, in the 21st century, this outlook is worsening. We need a new way forward: a new philosophy of progress. What events and ideas challenged the concept of progress? How can we restore it on a sound foundation? And how can we establish a positive, ambitious vision for the future? Jason Crawford will address these and related questions.
My Journey from the Regressive Left to Independent Thinking
Whatever labels you use to describe yourself, your fundamental label should be: independent thinker. Amala Ekpunobi learned this lesson as she stepped away from the leftist groupthink she had been raised with and began demanding evidence and logic in support of the ideas she accepts as true. In this talk, Amala will discuss her journey from her teenage years as an activist for the regressive left to her chosen policy of accepting ideas only when they make sense to her reasoning mind.
Generation Z and Causes for Optimism
Surveys indicate that a majority of young adults in Generation Z, which includes today’s high school and college students, have a negative view of capitalism and a positive view of socialism. But these surveys do not tell the whole story—or even the essential parts of it. Using data from the Foundation for Economic Education, Zilvinas Silenas will show that few young people know what either capitalism or socialism is, and that when they learn the history of and arguments for these competing systems, they tend to champion capitalism. Come learn the truth about Gen Z and how you can help young adults learn the truth about capitalism and socialism.
Bitcoin as a Freeway to Freedom
Wolf von Laer
The idea of Bitcoin as money is controversial for many reasons, not the least of which is that its widespread acceptance could help to free money from the grips of governments and thus disable the countless statist activities that depend on governments’ control of money. In this talk, Wolf von Laer will explain the fundamentals of Bitcoin, how it differs from the thousands of other crypto-projects, and why he sees Bitcoin as a vital tool in the fight for free markets and limited government (as well as a good investment).
Becoming Free, Becoming Human
After escaping from the North Korean dictatorship in 2007, Yeonmi Park made her way to the United States, where she has been a voice of reason, speaking and writing about the horrors of socialism and the importance of freedom. In this talk, Yeonmi will tell her story and discuss, from firsthand experience, what socialism is, what freedom is, and the ways in which freedom is a necessary condition for people to live as human beings.
The Virtue of Black-and-White Thinking
Binary, either-or thinking gets a bad rap—mostly because it is misunderstood and misapplied. In this presentation, Craig Biddle will discuss the principles involved in black-and-white thinking, right and wrong ways to categorize ideas in terms of either-or, benefits of doing so correctly, and harmful consequences of doing so incorrectly. You’ll learn how either-or thinking can help you to choose more carefully, live more fully, and advance freedom more effectively.
Panel Discussion: The Future of Civilized Society
Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Peter Boghossian, Timothy Sandefur, and Craig Biddle will discuss the nature of civilized society, its basic principles, how they apply to the issues of the day, and how you can help advance the ideas on which human flourishing depends.
Join us for an action-oriented discussion, ask hard questions, get involved. This is how we make the world a better place to live.
The program is subject to change.
What Attendees Say
“After this conference, I will not waste a single moment of my life.” —Raja
“This conference was a rejuvenating and intellectually stimulating experience unlike anything I’ve ever encountered.” —Leisa
“My only disappointment was that it ended.” —Ed
“TOS-Con inspired me to reflect on how I live my life and how I want to live it, and to put more work into my aspirations. I’m so grateful for the experience.” —Kenna
Comedy, Dancing, Karaoke & More
Opening Reception & Banquet (evening of 6/22)
The opening reception and banquet will be a blast. Meet other attendees, catch up with friends, and enjoy the first evening of the most life-enhancing conference of the year.
Evening Activities & Night Life
- Adam Carolla: If I Can, You Can (6/23)
- Karaoke led by Eric Daniels (6/23)
- Salsa dance lesson with Kira Withrow (6/24)
- Jam session—bring your own instrument (6/24)
Jam with Sonic Weekend (evening of 6/24)
On Friday evening, following a set by the soul/grunge/hip-hop duo Sonic Weekend, we’ll open the stage for an informal jam. Play with the band or go solo for a song. An electric piano will be provided. All instruments and levels of ability are welcome. So dust off your guitar, Cajon, sax, or theremin and have some fun!
Closing Banquet & Dance (evening of 6/25)
Celebrate new friendships, brainstorm new ventures, have fun on the dance floor, and enjoy the final hours of TOS-Con with fellow lovers of life and liberty.
“Touching The Art”—pre-and post-conference museum tours with Luc Travers (6/22 and 6/26)
Please note: These tours are separate from TOS-Con and are not included in conference registration.
Join art appreciation expert Luc Travers for an art tour at the Denver Art Museum. Immerse yourself in artworks, think about them in terms of stories, and grasp their meanings like never before. Group tours are $30 for students, $40 for adults, and are limited to 15 people. Learn more or register here.
The schedule is subject to change.
Hotel & Area
TOS-Con 2022 will be held at the Westin Westminster Hotel, which is just 15 minutes from both Denver and Boulder. TOS-Con’s group rates on guest rooms start at $149 per night. The supply is limited, so be sure to book your room soon using this special TOS-Con page or by calling 303-410-5000. Please let us know if you have any questions or trouble—we’re here to help!
If you’d like to find a roommate, please post a note on TOS-Con 2022’s Facebook page, which is a great place to meet other attendees and make plans in general.
High school, college, or Praxis
Age 29 and under
Sponsors low pricing for young people
**Atlas registration includes access to all lectures, workshops, and performances—as well as the opening and closing banquets. Atlases are also invited to a special dinner with Craig Biddle and other TOS-Con speakers on Friday, June 24 to discuss ideas for advancing rational philosophy in the culture. If you are unable to attend the conference, you can register as a non-attending Atlas. To select this option, proceed through registration as an Atlas and enter the code JohnGalt in the “Non-Attending Atlas” field. The code will reduce the price from $3500 to $2700 and register you as a non-attending Atlas. (Please note: All Atlases, attending and non-attending, will be listed and thanked below unless anonymity is requested.)
Thank You, Atlases of TOS-Con 2022!
We extend our deepest gratitude to the following individuals, who are sponsoring extremely low pricing for students and young adults to attend TOS-Con.
|Doug Basberg||Bill & Rosemary Gately|
|Helen Basberg||Ellen Kenner|
|Carl Barney||Harris Kenner|
|Eric Moldenhauer||Deborah Knapp|
|Angela Hargest||Tim Chermak|
|David Walden||David Clayton|
|Tim & Amy White||Pete Masterson|
|Thomas Ricucci||Vicki Masterson|
|Leif Smith||Kevin Osborne|
To join these forward-thinking individuals in sponsoring youth attendance at TOS-Con 2022, register as an Atlas.
Or . . .
If you are unable to attend the conference, register as a non-attending Atlas. To select this option, proceed through registration as an Atlas and enter the code JohnGalt in the “Non-Attending Atlas” field. The code will reduce the price from $3500 to $2700 and register you as a non-attending Atlas.
Please note: Non-attending Atlases will be listed and thanked as Atlases on this page as well, unless anonymity is requested.
Post-Conference Vacation in Galt’s Gulch
After TOS-Con 2022, OSI is holding a company retreat/vacation in Ouray, CO—the valley that was the inspiration for Galt’s Gulch in Atlas Shrugged.
The OSI team will be there from June 27 to July 5, and we invite you to join us for all or any portion of that time. It will be equal parts fun, adventure, and relaxation—all in a place of unparalleled beauty.
For details, including what’s in store, where to stay, and how to get there, click here.
Sign up to receive updates, info on Galt’s Gulch, and more!
Frequently Asked Questions
Who is TOS-Con for?
How can I meet other attendees before TOS-Con?
A great way to meet other attendees is to join TOS-Con 2022 on Facebook. Simply click “Join,” say hi, and enjoy a warm welcome. You can meet other attendees, find roommates, ask questions, post suggestions, and discover fun things to do in the Denver/Boulder area.
Where should I stay?
The conference will be held at the Westin Westminster Hotel, where TOS-Con’s group rates on guest rooms start at $149 per night. We recommend staying at The Westin, as that’s where all the action will be. The number of discounted rooms is limited, so book your room early. TOS-Con’s discounted rates apply for three days before and after the conference as well (based on availability), so if you’d like to arrive early or stay in the area for a few additional days, you can do so on the cheap.
Can I share a hotel room and split the cost?
Absolutely! Attendees are welcome to share rooms and split costs. If you’d like to find a roommate, we recommend posting a note on TOS-Con 2022’s Facebook page, where others will be looking for roommates as well.
How do I get to the hotel?
The hotel is approximately 30 miles from Denver International Airport. Both Uber and Lyft provide transportation in the area.
You can also purchase a $9 round trip ticket on the RTD (Denver’s light rail system) from the airport to Westminster. The hotel offers complimentary shuttle service within 5 miles of the hotel, including transportation to/from the closest RTD train station.
If you’d like to share a ride with other conference attendees, post a note on TOS-Con 2022’s Facebook page, where others will be looking for shared rides, too.
The hotel’s address is 10600 Westminster Blvd, Westminster, CO 80020.
What are the parking options?
The Westin Westminster offers complimentary self-parking on-site. Nightly valet parking is $15 per night.
What's the dress code at TOS-Con?
Dress comfortably! We recommend casual attire for the opening banquet and daily lectures, and cocktail attire for the closing banquet and dance.
What are the dining options?
Tickets for the opening and closing banquets (Wednesday and Saturday nights) can be purchased through TOS-Con’s registration page. There is a bar, a restaurant, and a Starbucks in the hotel, as well as several great places to eat within walking distance.
Is there a charge for Internet access at the conference hotel?
Internet access for conference attendees is free throughout the hotel.
Will TOS-Con lectures be livestreamed?
What is TOS-Con's recording policy?
Presentations at TOS-Con will be professionally recorded and made available at a later date to attendees. No other audio or video recording of the lectures or performances is permitted. You are welcome to take photographs, but please refrain from using a flash during lectures and performances.
When is the registration deadline?
Registration will remain open until the conference sells out. We encourage you to register and book your hotel room early, as space is limited.
What is the cancellation policy?
If for any reason TOS-Con 2022 is canceled—or if for any reason you personally are unable to attend—TOS-Con will refund your registration fees, including banquet tickets, in full through June 22, the day the conference begins.
In the event that the conference is cancelled, refunds will be issued automatically. In the event that you personally cannot attend, you need only email us at [email protected] with the subject line “Cancel TOS-Con Registration,” and we will refund your registration fees in full. It’s that simple.
For Active-Mind Scholarship recipients, please understand that we will NOT reimburse you for unused travel tickets. We recommend that you purchase refundable travel tickets and/or appropriate cancellation insurance.
By registering, you agree to TOS-Con’s Terms and Conditions. TOS-Con reserves the right to modify these terms at any time.